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Israel 28, America 8, U.s. 7, Cairo 6, Washington 5, Susan Rice 4, Hogan 4, Cambodia 4, Us 4, Egypt 4, Warfarin 3, Cia 3, Netanyahu 3, United Nations 3, Libya 3, Benghazi 3, Msnbc 3, Southeast Asia 3, Karen Finney 2, Bill Clinton 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    November 19, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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war. senator john mccain suggesting to bring in bill clinton as a peace negotiator and calling him an honest broker to go in to handle it. and now let's go to aymon goldien. >> well, palestinian forces have left today alone 25 people killed. these targets have varied in range and scope. one incident took place on sunday that is drawing strong condemnation from people here and several around the world saying that it may have amounted to a massacre at the house of one leading member of a hamas militant. according to israel, this is a house belonging to a senior official of hamas, but at the same time there were 12 people inside of that house, including four women and four children. all of them killed. so many people are condemning
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that attack. meanwhile, it is nighttime here and the people of gaza are bracing themselves for what could be another night of deadly attacks despite the diplomatic activity in cairo. negotiations are under way as well as palestinian factions as to what to do next, but those here in gaza say they are preparing for a ground invasion, and meaning if israel launches a war, they will fight and they are prepared to defend their territory as they say and on the same side israelis say they have finalized preparation for a ground invasion and now it is a matter of a political decision, and certainly something that everybody in cairo is trying to avert, but one that everybody here thinks it is not going to be averted any time soon. thomas? >> well, you talk about the diplomatic conversations in cairo, and what is on the table? what terms are being discussed? >> well, two central issues from the two perspectives. the head of the hamas today held a press conference in which he highlighted hamas position, and that is simple in their eyes, israel must stop all hostilities
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against the leadership and assassinating and killing key palestinian figures and call on the international community to lift a five-year blockade which restricts what comes in and out of gaza, including people, supplies and food and you name it. they want that lifted. at the same time israel says it will not abide by anything unless hamas agrees to stop firing rockets and hand over the weapons to egypt and hold the egyptian government responsible for hamas abide big the truce. so it is not about what both sides don't want, because they both want to avoid war, but what they want to come out of this appearing victorious or at least gained within their own political frameworks, and this is what is difficult for the egyptian media to bring these two sides together. >> thank you, so much from gaza. be safe. and now to the middle east
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where president obama is now in cambodia, the third and the final stop on a multiday and multicountry tour. the president arrived in cambodia at 5:00 a.m. eastern time, and becoming the first sitting u.s. president to visit there. while in cambodia, the president is going to be meeting with a leaders at a dinner of the asian summit. and yesterday he made a historic meeting in myanmar where he met with parliament elected leader aun san suu kyi. >> this is not an endorsement of the burmese government, but it is an acknowledgment that there is a process under way inside of that country that even a year and a half, two years ago, nobody foresaw. >> meanwhile back home in washington, congress is off for a week for the thanksgiving
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holiday, lawmakers are vowing to get to the bottom of intelligence questions in the immediate wake of the deadly attack of a u.s. consulate in libya, including whether ambassador susan rice's so-called talking points were altared the weekend after she gave that announcem of the attack. >> she didn't know anything about the attack in benghazi and the most politically compliant person. i don't know what she knew, but i know that the story she told was misleading. >> the debate on the hill intensified by general david petraeus' testimony friday that they suspected terrorism from the very beginning. >> why do you tell the american public something that is different in meaning? it should be perhaps leave out the details or the sources and then -- >> well, again, though, the details here were al qaeda. >> before you get to the question of what susan rice should or shouldn't have said, i think that we need to know the answer of who changed the talking points and why. >> okay. so let's get to the bottom of this and say good morning to the
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political power panel. we have susan page, and msnbc analyst karen finney and also a columnist for "the hill" and also the campaign manager for rick sanitorium's campaign. and so let's go over the time line of what we know for september 11th, the attack of the compound happening september 11th and then by the friday, certain lawmakers on the hill say that general petraeus believed that there was terrorist involvement in it, and then on that sunday, the 16th, that is when ambassador rice went on five morning shows saying it is the result of a spontaneous protest. so by the 16 ths, was the information classified or not? >> well, thomas, it is a question i cannot answer, but it is a question that we will get an answer to, because the republicans won't let it go especially if susan rice is
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nominated as secretary of state, and there are questions that the administration will be forced to answer in a more detailed way than they have, and by the way, it stings me as this is a side issue to what ought to be the central issue of the benghazi attack which is why wasn't there better security at that consulate to have repelled this attack? i mean, it is curious to me that there is so much interest on the time line when this more substantive issue seems to be left behind. >> karen, moreen o'dowd talked about the defense of ambassador rice, and we all saw the president's defense of her, and some wonder if susan rice has a bull in a china shop reputation is diplomatic enough to do an diplomatic job but she would have been wise to be a more bull in a china shop. shouldn't she have been privy to more information and isn't it her job to go out with what is releasable? >> absolute ly.
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thomas, one correction to at least my understanding of the series of events is that remember on that sunday, i mean, she did caveat every single appearance by saying that this is what we know now, and the change in the talking point seems to have been from a direct l link to al qaeda and terrorism to extremists, and we have learned in the course of this investigation, that there was a covert cia operation operating on those grounds, and perhaps part of the reason they pulled back some of the information was to protect that operation or trying to protect certain assets that may have still been on the ground or to protect the names of libyans working with us which were subsequently released under the ignorance of jason chaffetz and congressman issa. and the real question is security, as susan said, but do we have the adequate assets in libya. we have not been in libya for a long time and why didn't we know more about the fact that this kind of thing was coming and is
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it because we have not been there and we need more intelligence assets? >> certainly more questions than answers we have so more. and hogan, while all of this is stirring on the hill, we have the fiscal cliff talks going on or supposed to be going on as we enter into the holiday week. congresswoman nancy pelosi made some headlines about this comment about tax hikes for the wealthiest americans. >> would you accept a deal that does not include tax increase s for wealthy we have seen some capping income rates for high income earners -- is that acceptable at all? >> no. >> not at all? >> no, the president made it clear that there is not enough resources and what you have just described is a formula and a blueprint for hampering our future. >> okay. hogan, some of the gop are open to higher taxes for the top earners and senator mitch mcconnell came out after the talks last week, and took the microphone with pelosi and with
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reid and boehner at the side saying that revenue is on the table, but when the talks ramp back up after thanksgiving, is this an issue to be real negotiation or dig-in time? >> i hope it is time for a negotiation. look, if there is one thing that we learned from the president's campaign, he promised to raise taxes on the wealthy. and here is a news flash to the republicans out there, elections have consequences, and that is what he wants to do, and i'm sure he is going to accomplish some of that, but on either side when you dig in before the negotiations start, not only does it look bad, it makes the markets go up and down, and it creates instability, and insecurity among the people out here in the country feeling the pain and the brunt of some of the economic policies and the fact of the matter is that both sides need to come into it with some level of give and take, and that is how you govern and get it done, and if the president is going to ak kccomplish the polis that he did in first term that he promised in the second, he is going to have to get some of the folks in line on the right and
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the left to come together in the tab table. >> and a good compromise and both sides walk off p.o.'d and nobody so happy. and susan, while traveling the president made a call to the leading ceos and the talk of the fiscal cliff conversation and among them warren buffett and tim cook from apple and still we see reports like this from the "wall street journal" that companies are scaling back the fastest since the recession. can we show up the market report to show what is going on wall street, and the green arrows with the market up 154 points right now, susan. so the president and the congressional leaders are saying they are optimistic about a deal, but is the business sector there really crucial to this buying into it or not? >> well, i don't know if there is much cause for optimism in the elections as consequences argument that hogan was making, because i don't see the republicans saying that i would agree to higher tax rates just to have more revenues from the
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more a affluent taxpayers and nancy pelosi said that higher tax rates are the essential part of any deal, but i think that markets have consequences and business decisions have ko consequences and that "wall street journal" story sent a chill up the spines of a lot of the policy makers in washington, because what will drive a deal? the end of the year deadline drives a deal, but also the sense that the economy will slide back into the recession if they don't reach a compromise or reach some kind of agreement, and that is the strongest, the strongest force we have going to force the compromise that many people want. >> and so, hogan, i want to turn to a comment that lindsey graham made yesterday about mitt romney and the post election comments about gifts. take listen. >> we are in a big hole. we are not getting out of it with comments like that. when you are in a hole, stop digging. he keeps digging. >> he is digging, so is the governor a scapegoat for the gop? do we see them basically walking over his back to make some points. >> well, i have to hand it to my
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senator here in south carolina, lindsay tells it like it is for the most part all of the time, whether people love him or not. but, look, obviously, they are go ing to put some blame and the republicans are going to put some blame on governor romney and we saw the 47% comments made at the fund-raiser move numbers and both sides jumped on it. the democrats were terrified and the republicans seemed to double-down on it, and he is doubling down on the comments and that is not helpful in the way we want to move forward and after the election the nominee is g is going to smooth over some of his reputation and some of the hits he took by trying to explain away in what happened in the loss and the republicans are going to beat him up for the woes of the party even though he does not need all of the blame and deserve all of the blame, that is what happens after elections. >> around karen, newt gingrich over the weekend called mitt romney's comments nuts. louisiana governor bobby jindal
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has denounced the comments as well ferociously right out of the gate when he heard them. do you believe the republican party as a whole believes it is time for a dramatic makeover, and i was having a conversation with someone over the weekend that they said that they are in so much trouble that we could end up with two parties moderates and liberal democrats. >> well, newt gingrich believes children should be scrubbing toilets, so let's not go with anything that he believes. the republican party has to decide and they are at a crossroads, are you going accept america as it is and not only reck these that demographics have change and the issues have change and marriage equality and marijuana and lots of things that are on the ballots that people have feelings on and they were bafrnking on it, and do you accept that or hide under the covers to pretend that going after white voters and all of the language of the traditional america, and taking this america back is the way to go. i think that there are great
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voices like bobby jindal and others and my friend hogan has been there, too, saying, we have to change with the times and we have to modernize the thinking here, and the tension we will continue to see play itself out is which way do they go and which force within the party wins out. i hope that the republican party gets the act together, because the country is stronger when we have good ideas, and not idealology coming from different side sides. >> the power panel, thank you susan page, and karen finney and hogan gidley, and thank you all and have a good thanksgiving if we don't chat later in the week. >> thank you, thomas. >> you, too, thomas. and how does fiction compare to reality? i will talk to someone who is the author of a new spy thriller. and twinkies may be flying off of the shelf, but maybe you don't have to worry about running out to the stores, because we will bring you those details in news now. and should bill clinton go to the middle east as a peace negotiator? tweet me or find me on
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facebook@thomasroberts@msnbc. ♪ and when it's a toys for tots child, well, what could be more important? so this year, every hasbro toy donated to toys for tots will be powered by duracell. happy holidays. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. it's a great hd tv... shhh. don't speak. i'll just leave you two alone. [ male announcer ] black friday's back. savings start thursday at 8 pm. more electronics start at 10 pm. the first and only place to go this black friday. walmart.
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welcome back, everybody. looking at the headlines. the new york times is focusing on the events in middle east. and the big story on politico, republic republicans at a crossroads and a look at how the republican governors are looking to shake up the party in a bid to reach out to more diverse voters. and the "seattle times" off election trail, ryan faces test of fiscal cliff." and as we mentioned the we have the president on a historic trip as we speak. he is in cambodia the last leg to an impressive trip to southeast asia. he has made history twice already in the last 24 hours. he has visited myanmar and juggling a lot as well from the
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fiscal cliff to the escalating crisis between hamas and israel. we bring in kristen welker, the white house correspondent, to fill us in. kristen, even though the president has made several long distance calls to the business le leader oefs the weekend, and tim cook of apple being one of them, to bring them up to speed on the fiscal cliff. >> yes, they say that the office of the presidency travels with president obama wherever he goes, goes, and that is the case in thin stance as he makes that historic trip to southeast asia and you are right, he made calls to the weekend to business leaders including warren buffett, and jamie dimon and the president as apple as well as boeing and costco and really trying to get a number of stakeholders on board to prevent the fiscal cliff. this is something that came up in the overseas trip, and in fact, he was touring a monastery in thailand and he actually
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asked a monk to pray for him and lawmakers as they hammer out a deal, and he later clarified the comments in a news conference and listen to the comments that the president made. >> we may need a prayer -- >> i always believe in prayer. i believe in prayer when i go to church back home. and if a buddhist monk is wishing me well, i'm going to take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with the challenges back home. >> now, of course, this is just one of the other issues that president obama is focused on while he travels in asia. he is also of course dealing with the crisis in the middle east, and what is unraveling between israel and hamas. we are told that while he was flying to thailand, he made a number of calls to leaders in that region as well as the prime minister of israel, and of course, the president of egypt
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who has really been charged with trying to work out a cease-fire between israel and hamas. and so president obama doing all of this while he is making this historic visit to outeast asia. thomas. >> and thank you, kristen welker, abc white house news correspondent. and hundreds of sandy victims found out they will never be able to go back home and hundreds are waiting for the final word. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat.
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here is a look at some of of the stories topping the news. the body of one of the workers missing from an oil rig that exploded this the gulf of mexico has been rekovd. the ceo of the company that owns the rig has vowed to continue the search for a second missing worker. new york city officials say they will demolish hundreds of buildings damaged beyond repair because of hurricane sandy. buildings in imminent collapse will be take n down first.
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and vice president joe biden visited the area, and he vowed that the federal government will stay as long as help is needed. and the hostess, the makers of twinkies and other iconic brands could likely sell their brand to another company. >> and prince charles is likely to pay the butler for a bullying suit, because he says he was threatened by colleagues while working at the country estate. and craig met with hundreds of servicemen and gave a screening of the new bond movie "skyfall." >> and the latest twilight movie has raked in the more money than its predecessors. and brad keselowski is the new champ of nascar. he won the first sprint cup sunday and also the first title for team owner roger penske, and now he is going to talk with us
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negotiators are now meeting in cairo to try and strike an agreement to stop the unfolding crisis that is occurring in the middle east. israeli officials say they won't let up until hamas stops firing rockets their way, and all of this while the leaders are trying to urge israel not the escalate the violence in a ground war. i want to bring this the former state department spokesman p.j. crowley to talk about this. p.j., great to have you here and as we talk about the crisis playing out over the last several days, i want to start with president obama and his position that israel has every right to defend itself, and i want to remind everybody about what he had to say. take a listen. >> israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory. if that can be accomplished without a ramping up of military
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activity in gaza, that is preferable. >> that is a reasonable expectation not to expect missiles and rockets to be fired in their general direction, but knowing what you know what gaza wants, can a deal be struck before this does escalate and israel sends ground troops into the gaza strip? >> well, that is the $64,000 question, and it is one thing to say that israel has a right to defend itself, because it does. but how that exercises and how israel exercises that right matters significantly, akd right now they are able to accomplish much of what they are going to do in terms of the reducing not only the firing of the missiles, but also the production and the networking that brings those missiles, you know, to the border with israel and as a threat to the israeli people. if that can be accomplished through air power and not by putting the troops into gaza, itself, all of the better,
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because obviousobviously, if th picture changes and the narrative changes, that works to israel's long term strategic advanta advantage. >> but sir, you have been in on nine of the discussions between the president and the israeli president benjamin netanyahu and do you feel and believe that the prime minister has faith in how the u.s. has responded so far and the president's response in saying that they do have a right the defend themselves. >> well, i have with been in the room with secretary clinton and prime minister netanyahu and with president clinton and not president obama and netanyahu. it is a issue of timing. you have netanyahu coming up with his own election in early 2013, and how he handles this can have implications going in one direction or another. his relationship with president
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obama is already having a political effect, and it could be a campaign issue. but nonetheless, as prime minister netanyahu and president obama has enforced that no leader of any country can tolerate this kind of missile firings that put an entire population at risk. >> why is hamas trying to exert itself like this? what do they have to gain by doing this? >> well, hamas is in a political tug of war with fatah and wants to demonstrate the relevance. fatah is going to the united nations in the near days to talk about the observed status with the united nations, and seeks a peaceful resolution for a two-state solution, and hamas does not want a two-state solution, and they want the remind the palestinian people that they want a one-state resolution whether it is plausible or not. and the timing here is related
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to the upcoming fatah political gambit at the united nations, and hamas wants to remain relevant. now a second issue is that hamas as the de facto political leadership in gaza is trying to break the blockade that israel imposed on gaza a number of years ago and that is obviously part of the ongoing political effort. >> p.j. crowley, sir, thank you for coming on this morning because we appreciate your time and insights. >> thank you. and ever since the recognition of the jewish state, israel security has been a policy priority for administrations from jimmy carter to bill clinton to george bush and presidents actively intervened with the middle eastern neighbors in the nay name of peace, and that has given israel big clout in washington, d.c. and now joining me is contributor jimy williams on why this matters so much for american politics. so we are watching this unfold
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for days now, and we know that the president supports israel, but it remains among the top five allies of america when it comes to the global stage, especially within the middle east, but explain why is that? is it because of the shared culture, the shared values that are rooted purely in the conflict that is once again blowing up at this very moment? >> well, america traditionally has been allied with israel obviously since the inception, but one thing that i think that people have to keep in mind is that you have a democracy and israel is a democracy and it is the longest sustaining democracy in the region frankly and it is now defending itself pretty much every single day against a terrorist regime or terrorist regimes in the region and surrounded by all sides of people who do not like them for all intents and purposes. imagine, if america, if we had bombs coming in from mexico or canada into texas, let's say or to michigan, and that were happening on a daily basis, and
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we are a democracy as well. so you have the right to defend yourself, and that is where i think that israel and the united states very much had this sort of camaraderie and even despite the bad blood between netanyahu and our leader president obama, and the countries do maintain a healthy relationship, and you have a lot of american jews who do have dual citizenship as well even today. >> point that out, because the jewish vote is very vital in the country as we watched it play out in the election, and why is that? >> well, listen, first of all, they have a fantastic lobby which is called apac which is american israel political action committee and they do a fantastic job in representing american jews before the congress. there's the one thing with congress that they can -- the one thing they can agree on these days is support for israel and the ability to defend themselves, and in fact, they recently passed unanimously, resolutions in both chambers
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saying that israel has the right the do so. so the israeli population is at one point 70 years ago was 3.5% of the american population, and today it is around 2% and in apparently something like seven years, seven years, less than 1%. so you have an aging jewish population that has great ties back to state of israel, and they have, they wield great power in the halls of congress and rightly so. they have the right to do so. >> and so many neighbors at play when we talk about this, and interestingly enough senator lindsey graham who was on "meet the press" with david gregory over the weekend at the very end of that he said, egypt, watch your step, because we have our eyes on you, and that has to do with the funding and the aid, $2 billion aid they get annually from the united states, and there is also the imf and $4.8 billion sitting in a bank
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account for them right now potentially and right now the negotiations are going on in cairo and so how important is egypt in the relationship between the gaza strip and israel? >> well, not just to the region, with but the reason is that they have a treaty between the two nations, and this treaty for all intents and purposes deals with water. so if the treaty were to fall, that would be a very bad thing, and that would cut off a huge resource for the israeli nation. that would probably lead to a step-up on both sides of the state of israel of war. >> msnbc contributor jimmy williams and great to see you. thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> how socialite one person involved in the scandal promps s the review of a military policy change at a air force base. and a heart felt thank you from new jersey governor chris christie and some no thank yous to the public. into their work,
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okay. so in the wake of a high profile resignation of david petraeus and the new allegations
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surrounding john allen in afghanistan, there are lots of new questions being asked about how the scandal could affect the future of the cia and the covert community. joining me with insight is former cia operative who is also the author of a new spy novel. let's talk about this, michael, because someone who has close tabs to the espionage community and this is playing out basically better than fiction, as we watch the details come out about this, what are people inside of the intelligence community saying and reacting to what we were watching with the general petraeus and also general allen? >> well, i think that there's a general feeling of disappointment of course, because what he did represented a breach of trust not only with his wife, but with everyone in the agency as well inso far the way it embodies everybody who is working at the cia and he
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created a potential security risk by what he did, and worse, i think in my opinion, was the lack of judgment that was shown by entering into the affair while he occupied such an important position in our intelligence community. i this they as far as the future of the cia is concerned, this will to coin a phrase be nothing but a bump in the road. people are of course disappointed, but we have some very good people waiting in the wings to take over if the president decides that they are the ones to do so. we have mike more rel who is now the acting dci who has a long and distinguished career as an analyst at the pentagon and also michael vickers who is head of intelligence at the pentagon who has spent some time in the agency, and personally, as a former intelligence officer, myself, i'd very much like to see a professional intelligence officer occupy the post of dci. >> michael, certainly the
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scandal surrounding general petraeus has overshadowed his testimony on what happened in benghazi on september 11th, and this is what senator john mccain had to say over the weekend. take a listen. >> they said they wanted to not give classified assessment of what happened, because they didn't want to betray sources. well, if classified assessment changed the unclassified assessment, then why in the world would you keep that information from the american people? >> well, as we look back hindsight being 20/20, is this the modern espionage, classified and unclassified documents being released and going public to fit a political thenarrative? >> well, i don't know about the fitting a political narrative precisely, but analysis is a lot different from assumption. and these days, when there are so much coordination that has to occur among the different elements of the intelligence community, what happens is that a caution sometimes overcomes
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what we believe to be the actual facts, and so, i am willing to give everyone involved here the benefit of the doubt, and say that indeed they felt it was safer at that point in time to speak only of extremists as opposed to actual terrorists. i can't speak to the accuracy of what a classified report from the cia might have said, but the problem i think that in all of this is that the administration continued to speak of that video some weeks after the truth was obvious to everyone else. and it's everything that the administration has done, i think, has sort of raised more questions. and i believe that they might have done a better job at the very beginning by being a little bit more candid with their estimates of what happened. >> cia operative and author
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michael davis. thank you. thank you. and there are new questions surrounding the socialite that there will be a new program called the friends of macdill here. and i want to start with general petraeus has hired an author who has also represented sarah palin in a new book deal and why would he need to lawyer-up? >> well, he is under investigation of the cia and the office of the inspector general which might have something to do with it, and i do know that he shunder investigation by the i.g. and the d.o.g. and the fbi and the cia and that might have something to do with it. it is a situation that has turned tampa, and again, we have seen it on "saturday night live"
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running the humorous skit, but at the heart of it is macdill air force base which is right now observing events in israel, they don't control the military affairs there, but over in egypt as well as the rest of the region, so they have a lot on their mind as well as u.s. special options command and as well as the area that brings in millions off dollars into the local community. so it is a mandate to engage with the community and that is what parts of this "friends with macdill" was. >> well, talk about the probe and how that it is run to investigate and reveal, i guess, how many people around the community have access to the nation's military leaders. >> no, they know. there's about 800 people on the
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"friends of macdill" program and created by the previous base commanders to get community leaders on to the base in daylight hours and nonsecure areas to engage with the community. what they are doing is that the current base commander has ordered a review of the list to see who is on it, and if they belong on there. the air force and the base, i believe still believe strongly in the program. and you have to remember that engagement with the community is an air force mandate. there is a lot of people who rely on the base for income, and it is also a lot of people who hem o help out the troops and the folks stationed there. that is not going to end. i think that certainly what we will see is that the protocol officers surrounding the admirals and the generals of the base are going to be careful about who they allow access to, and who they have, you know, e-mail conversation to, and i think that this is clearly, you
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know, an embarrassing issue. the d.o.d. and the inspector general's office is looking at the e-mails between jill kelley and general john allen who runs things in afghanistan for u.s. and nato forces. i talked to a congressman who is briefed on the content of those e-mails and by and large most of them, i don't think that they are worrisome, and the volume is something that needs to be considered at a time when, you know, there is a lot going on in the region that the u.s. central command covers. >> a lot more questions than answers on this. how many jill kelleys exist down there in florida. we will be back, and talk about the myths of the fiscal cliff right after this. stick around. boomers approach iing the retirement age and afraid you will be bored an unhappy. here are some tips, make plans to do things that you want to do like travel or write that novel and get involved in community activity and volunteer to help
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welcome back. watching wall street this monday. the dow up more than 150 points. up by 158. will a deal be reached avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. with the president out of the country and the congress in recess, they are holding talks through this week and will present proposals present their proposals after the thanksgiving holiday. all this follows friday's meeting at the white house between president obama and tom congressional leaders. all sides expressed optimism a deal can be reached before the january 1 deadline when $650 billion worth tax hikes and federal budget cuts would kick in. joining me is the president of the nonpartisan committee for a responsible federal budget. maya, great to have you here. i know you wrote a piece in "the washington post" reminding everyone the fiscal cliff involves more than the expiration of the bush-era tax cuts and defense spending cuts. remind everybody what's in there. >> the fiscal cliff is huge and one of the reasons we're so
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concerned about it. because if it were to hit and we were to go over it, so many parts of the budget would be affected and so many citizens would. not only is it the expiration of the upper income tax cuts, all the tax be cuts would expire, many of us would be hit by the alternative minimum tax. the sequester affects both defense and discretionary parts of the budget that would have affects from housing to, you know, different parts that affect citizens that you want to generally protect. we would have something called the dock fix, this plan where we're supposed to cut physician payments and congress passes it. basically this is filled with policies that were not intended to hit and as a result, if congress can't come to some decisions people will be affected throughout the budget and importantly we in all likelihood would go into a recession and shouldn't be
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acceptab acceptable. >> mitch mcconnell after his meeting with the president and congressional leaders said revenue is on the table. does that mean we are going to see something big and bold or is it more likely that it's just going to be an interim kick the can down the road six-month extension kind of thing? >> i think the likely outcome there will be some kind of compromise. we're hearing talk about a two-step process. first off, what's good the leaders are talking and clearly trying to come to some agreement. this fiscal cliff is such a real threat and it's a huge way of focusing our attention on getting something done. they may come up with sort of a partial plan in order to extend some of these policies while they work out the rest of an overall debt deal. keep in mind what they need to get done. they need a big deal 4 or $5 trillion, big enough to stabilize the debt and it needs to focus on structural entitlement reform or reforming entitlements, reigning in spending and new revenues through tax reform.
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those are the three big pieces. we're starting to hear more discussion, more of a coming together on that. they may not get the whole deal done before the lame duck is over, but they these to put in place serious first credible steps. otherwise, markets could rebel and really i think we all know this is a test of can washington govern. and we want to see them come together and come up with a solution that's bipartisan. >> lame duck congress will be called jane duck congress. thanks so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> don't go anywhere. "now" with alex wagner is coming up next. what do you got? >> i do not have the [ inaudible ] duck congress. >> that is good. start using that. no big deal. >> i got all these. come see me at 1:00. >> i will. until then a big show, benjamin netanyahu is tweeting his battle plans but in cairo murmurs of a potential cease-fire. are allies helping or hindering the peace process. a live report from gaza. and president obama continues
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his travels in southeast asia after making history as the first u.s. president to visit burma. will foreign policy go east in the next four years? nicolas kristof is here to discuss. after friday's constructive meeting at the white house, are both sides of the aisle thinking it might be better to just hold hands and jump off the fiscal cliff? michael steele, ari mel ber and michael eric dyson will handicap the tax talks when "now" starts in 180 seconds. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt. and my daughter loves the santa. oh, ah sir. that is a customer. let's not tell mom. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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